Daily Blog 125: Blogmas Day Thirty-One- Blogmas is really over now, content goals looking forward, and wishing everyone a wonderful new year!

Tuesday Morning

Greetings and salutations, dearest blog readers!

Real picture, in live time, of me while I type this up. I made sure to take a unique morning selfie for this one, and this is me, on the last morning of 2019, with no make up and very post bed hair. Happy New Years Eve!

I slept in a tiny bit this morning to get six hours of sleep and now I’m awake and working on getting ready for work. My goal is to get there by 9:30, and work some of the trickier issues my boss has handed me.

My boss, who honestly seems confused when holidays make places shut down. It feels like he waits until the biggest holidays of the year to try have me do something with someone in an admin office at a school or working for the state government. Like it isn’t the winter holidays and no one is at their office…and the people who are aren’t there for what we are calling about.

So, I have to try and work these problems as far as I can work them before offices being closed stops us all. I know some businesses are open today, closed tomorrow, like we are, and while some are closed today, some only have a half day- so I’m hoping to catch some of those people.

But, because of the holidays, everyone is on a much more chilled schedule- so I don’t feel bad about going in at 9:30. Besides- my office hours aren’t officially until 9:30 and office staff has flexible time.

So, I need to get ready for work. I managed to drink a cup of coffee and do my skin care routine, and then I also got dressed- but my hair and make up still need much attention so I need to brush my hair and straighten it a bit and then at least throw on some eyeliner and mascara.

And I have about 20 minutes to do that and pack my lunch so really I should be working on that and not blogging but I wanted to start this blog post and try to think of what all I will be blogging about today.

My bosses work hustle is respectful, but I wish he were more human and realized that we can’t make people be at their jobs, doubly so on holiday time, he can only make his employees be at theirs, and even then, we are closed tomorrow so Eric please don’t come in.

Haha. Anyways. I need to make myself look a bit more put together before heading into work so, until later!

Later

Well, now I am at work, and I have put in some phone calls with people, now I am waiting for calls back while sipping coffee.

I realized yesterday that I did not discuss my goals for content and enrichment in my life in the new year, although I did mean to.

So, I guess we can continue that conversation on this blog, today, and look at me, having something thematically appropriate to write about.

The photo the inspired me to start taking my own pictures to illustrate the blog. My poor phone hasn’t had a moments rest since. 🙂

I did mention that I plan on upgrading the blog and providing more audio and video content, as well as original photos, but, to expand on that, and some other stuff, like the publishing I will be doing next year…how about we talk about the content related goals for 2020.

I have talked about it several times, and, I know for a fact there is no way I am the only blogger, person, or content creator to say the following: I want to travel more.

Bret and I got to do a little bit of travel last year, and I want to do even more. I want to film that content, photograph it, and of course, blog all about it. We went to New Orleans last year, which is a good template for how I would like to attack places we go: food, walking around looking at all the cool stuff, getting drunk/partying/doing the local thing, doing a historical thing or two, or taking in something educational or artistic like a museum, and do this while staying in a niceish spot that allows dogs and enables us to smoke a bit. (Hello balconies.)

Approaching trips this way, I think, allows us to get a good sampling of the place, while still keeping the fun and spontaneity of travel. I am not saying “One nice restaurant, one street level restaurant, one bar food” I am saying “Yo, ya girl loves food lets eat!”. I am not saying “I must go to the biggest, most popular historical spot or museum in this city” I am saying “Hey, I would really like to see this spot, so I am going to go there and learn something.”

It allows you to take in any lessons or reflections you were meant to have, too.

I loved blogging while traveling, and I have only gotten better at it, due to my blogging every day, so, I am looking forward to doing more travel with more experienced blogs.

I want more travel content on the blogs, which will of course include photos, video, and audio files on the blog.

Other content goals include more publishing and of course some supplemental materials for that.

And, since this is the blog where I will be elaborating on what I mean by supplemental, please allow me to elaborate. haha.

So, my goal for the universe is to have a very immersive multi media world you can access through whichever medium you prefer, and much of the “big picture” of my universe is being shown through the small microcosm of Flake City, and the multi media of it is absolutely being shown using Flake City as a hub for that.

For example, part of the story in Flake City has to do with a radio DJ, Samantha, and a journalist who was recently given clearance to report on Flake City. Radio versus TV.

I plan on having Samantha’s radio show segments on M.E.T.A Radio, which broadcasts out of Flake City, on a podcast.

In the Flake City Hospital, two nurses, George and Lissa, are barricaded into the morgue. George, a popular YouTuber, begins trying to find a way to broadcast all the sweet, sweet zombie content he is getting, and Lissa finds a way to bill it as fictional YouTube TV, to get the information outside of the government informational block. I have considered a few options for this content, but yes, I plan on having several vlog type content pieces “from” Flake City.

In addition to the longer form stories that will be published from Flake, likely in volumes, I will be posting smaller stories and segments on the blog as well. I may also combine all of these little stories and make an eBook for anyone who wants it.

I have also considered publishing some of the blogs, in one book. (Or, for my Bob’s Burgers fans, a “Blook” a blog turned into a book). If I do, I don’t think I will charge much for it, and of course, all blogs will be published for free, and available for reading for free, on my web-page.

I think this compromise may be the best way to ensure anyone who WANTS to read, can, but anyone who can’t afford to buy eBooks or regular books, can still read the content.

In addition to the podcasting and video files, I am planning on taking lots of photos to help illustrate stories inside and outside of Flake City.

Flake City is also not the only thing that will be getting published this year, as I also plan on releasing more short stories and segments that involve not only Amy, but Kiblah, Kent, Adare, Elizabeth, Aubrey…Basically the whole “main cast” and then a few side stories too.

But…#dontforgetflakecity

Some of this is written and ready to go, minus illustrations, some are in note or draft form, and others are still being worked on in my head, to make sure all the many moving parts fit together.

Having several characters trying to unwind a mystery of the giant magical world they live in, of which many people, magic and otherwise, have worked tirelessly to hide, is a lot of research, stories, and, of course, very tedious workings and reworkings to make sure everything is laid out just right for people to read and appreciate the stuff.

So, as you can see, all that writing and the blog, plus all the behind the scenes stuff that helps all of that crap come together…I won’t be having a bunch of time in the new year, so just know if I fuck with you in any way, make time for you, DM/Text/Hang with you…You really mean a lot to me, and you have made the final cut of people I actually want in my life.

If I don’t…Well… You probably know why, amiright?

Because I am far from coy. If I am thinking of cutting you out, you will hear me say some shit like “Alright remember that when I’m gone” which people think is a joke.

No. I am not kidding. I am going for it all in 2020, and if you even try to get the fuck in my way I will go total Slytherin on your ass.

With literally 0 fucks given.

Zero. Fucks. Given.

Because like I mentioned yesterday…I am leaving frustrations and annoying shit in 2019, and moving forward, it’s all about fully embracing the person I have been becoming. I want to build, not just for myself, but for the artists around me. I want to make characters and opportunities for my friends, my family, the people who matter. Robin, Amber, Sam (Both Sams, because I am lucky enough to have two Sam’s in my life) Damon, Katie, Kaynell, Biggs, Tina, Amanda, Sean, Tricia, and really, any of the truly good people in my life.

I don’t want anyone thinking that I am trying to make my circle smaller, or that I am trying to cut people out…I did my big cut of people already this year. I want to make sure i am making myself into a better person, and I want good people around me. I want to help create opportunities for my friends, and have all of us make awesome art.

Thankfully, I have a massive universe that requires tons of talent so, away we go into 2020!

So, in 2020, I plan on publishing lots of creative content on the blog, and also for purchase, as well as more travel based content. The travel based content may lead to more fun reviews, or just information about stuff. The educational stops may encourage more article type writings, and my creative writing may lead to me writing all about weird places in the world that inspire me in my writing.

I want a mixed media world, sure, but I also want it to be meta, and not just meta, but meta as hell.

So, that is the writing plan for the new year. Do you have any plans for upping your creative game? “LeT mE KnOw iN tHe CoMmEnTs!”

It is now Tuesday Afternoon, and I am wrapping up things at work, trying to get sorted before a day off in the middle of the week, and the end of the fiscal year. Tonight, I am hoping we can have a mildly decent dinner, but we are running a bit low on funds, and maybe a bottle of champagne. We will probably spend the night writing, and not worrying about having to get up early in the morning.

After all, I have a TON of writing I will be publishing in the new year, which means I have tons more writing to do. Even with the well over 400,000 words I have written this year (That’s what is traceable and I am pleased with, not counting the deleted stuff or stuff I don’t like and will be deleted) I have lots of writing, editing, formatting, and illustration work to do.

I am fairly excited for the new year, although this morning I realized that changing my attitude and not being frustrated with things would take more effort than I thought. I was putting the bed away (read yesterday’s blog for details on this bit) and I realized I didn’t want to wait the two months or so that it would take to afford the bed frame and mattress we need to buy to get out of the cycle of sleeping in the living room.

Fuck.

So, I am looking at the budget again and making any and all cuts I can, even contemplating doing hard core meal prep to make food easy to grab and cheap as fuck. Bean and cheese burritos make a great breakfast. I can add rice for lunch and a salad for dinner.

Sounds extreme, I know, and I probably won’t do it, but, it was a sharp slap in the face that it isn’t enough to just make the plans, and to make them sustainable, no, I also have to take the steps that make the sustainable change, and that part is a bit tricky for me.

Changing your habits and mannerisms is tricky. While removing the things that are frustrating is possible, it isn’t the only thing to do.

In my case, with the bed, for example, it isn’t enough to make a plan for the new bed, and to use the money coming in for it, I have to accept that it won’t happen over night, and if I want it sooner, I have to spend less.

So, I have to get better at managing the frustrations that will exist for the next couple of weeks, even with intense savings, or months, without, that come from not having a proper bed.

It isn’t enough to make goals and resolutions, and it isn’t enough to have sustainable changes…you have to make the changes and still DO the work. Sure, it may be sustainable change, but it isn’t if YOU don’t do the work to make the change, no matter how sustainable it may be.

If you want change, then the change has gotta come from you.

I hope you all have had a nice year, and if not, that’s okay, the year is over, and we are all onto a new one. We can make THIS year the best one yet, and keep building on the good year we all have.

I hope you have all had a very wonderful Blogmas and have enjoyed this trip with me. Please be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon or evening, depending on how tonight goes, to see my blog all about my NYE and my experience doing, and completing, my very first Blogmas.

Happy Blogmas day 31, Happy New Year’s Eve, and, as always…

Thank you for reading!

❤️

Abbi

Daily Blog #124: Blogmas Day Thirty-The last Monday in the year!

Monday Evening

Greetings and Salutations, dear blog readers!

I am getting ready to leave the office but I wanted to at least start this blog, because it is always easier to keep working on a blog, if you have already started the file.

Anyways, it is after five and I already have a bit of a nasty headache forming, so I want to pack up my stuff, go home, and smoke some awesome weed, to get rid of this headache.

Then, a simple process of cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry that didn’t get done yesterday, working out, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, work on the blog, and write on Flake City.

Simple.

Sigh. But, as you will recall from the blog I posted earlier, I have plans, goals I am aiming for, things I am shooting for with my efforts, and yes, long evenings doing crap is part of it. Should my partner help? Yeah. Will he? Probably not. Does that stop me?

No. Because like I said, I am leaving frustrating things in 2019, and taking care of business.

So, with that, I am going to go grab Bret, who has been waiting on me, and we will walk home to begin that part of the day!

And later when I need to update the blog, I will already have this file started.

Victory all around.

Until later-

Later

Well, it’s nearly 9:00, and I haven’t had dinner. I did dishes, because I like to have the dishes clean before I haul out my cardio bike- because who wants to work out three feet from dirty dishes. Bret made a salad, so I still ended up working out with dirty dishes next to me, but at least I worked out for the better part of an hour, keeping my heart rate up pretty high for half of it.

I still need to make myself some food, and I need to clean those dishes as well as Bret’s, and then I need to sweep up and of course, get this blog up, so I can catch up tomorrow. I think I will probably blog every day until at least the first, but, for Blogmas I am trying to make sure I have at least one Blogmas post per day for the month of December. This is Blogmas number 30, which I want to post tonight, and I would like to get the 31st up tomorrow, ahead of the first, but I also don’t know if we will have some plans crop up or something, leading to more to blog about.

I never go out for New Years Eve, but I do like to stay home and drink champagne, eat some tasty food, and watch the ball drop, and who knows if people will drop by for that.

But, I wanted to get this blog up and posted for today so tomorrow, regardless of whatever plans crop up, I can post the 31st Blogmas post on the 31st, and make the blog about whatever happens after I post, my first blog post of the new year.

Later still

Okay now I have eaten, plucked my eyebrows, and have a deep cleaning charcoal mud mask on my face deep cleaning my pores.

Today was a weird Monday where everything was okay until I left the office, which has me feeling sideways, so I am going to probably try and salvage a nice evening by making some lavender tea and going to bed. It’s a long way until the weekend, even with the day off in the middle, and the holidays being over isn’t something I had planned on, or something, because work is going to be killer.

With all of this, I think I really need some time to recharge my batteries a little bit, which includes calling this blog good, here. It’s been a long Monday, and that’s pretty relatable I think.

Anyways- it was the last Monday of the year and while I wish with all my heart today hadn’t gone sideways in the evening, at least the day is nearly done. Tomorrow, I try again at having a good day, but in the end, we put the year to rest tomorrow.

So even though today went sideways, enough to warrant this noticeably less good additional blog, it’s all good, because I get to go to sleep and wake up and try it all again tomorrow, and on top of that – tomorrow we put all the bad days of 2019 to rest. And good riddance.

See you tomorrow!

Thanks for reading.

Abbi

Daily Blog #123: Blogmas Day Twenty-Nine- The long talked about "I will blog about that later in Blogmas" year end assessment/new year goals blog.

Sunday Night

Well, I managed to get about everything on my to do list done but it’s now quite late and I’ll surely be tired tomorrow. Thank goodness I have coffee.

I also have snacks so assuming I’m not dumb in the morning and I remember to bring my creamer, coffee mug, lunch and snacks, I’ll have a pretty good day despite being up way later than I should be.

At the moment, I should be in bed. Instead, it is after midnight and I have a lavender sheet mask on my face and I’m blogging. I worked on the bedroom a bit, getting more done, and now I have a giant unfairly large pile of crap to take to donation.

Once the something like seven bags and giant tub of clothing is taken for donation, we will have more space. The next major goal will be washing the clothing that remains and finding a home for it, and buying a new AC window unit for that room. After the AC, I may consider another coat of paint, something all over the walls, instead of the half and half it is currently, and start looking at a new bed for us.

The hope is, once we have space, we can grab a bed frame and mattress and some new linens and have a lovely new sleeping situation. Of course if we do this the futon that is currently in that room will also have to go, and I’ll have to rearrange the room yet again but we are within a couple of months from having a proper bedroom again.

Things are really coming together in 2020.

Or at least, I’m trying to make them come together in 2020. I have big goals and this coming year is the year I plan on pushing of those goals forward.

Little things, like getting my bedroom sorted, I think will have a major impact on my life, and will make bigger goal things, like releasing at least one volume of Flake City, that much easier.

Being able to leave lights, microphones, etc, set up after filming or recording, instead of taking them all down to then set up our bed, for example, could be a major advantage. Not having to put away half of my desk to store things, and then clear it all off to get ready in the morning, will also save me much needed time.

I do have hopes of getting a better solution for my desk and vanity duo- currently both large jobs are handled by Bret’s old kitchen table.

2020, however, is when I think that will all change. We are eating at home more, making better purchases for our future, releasing more art, and making dreams come true, one project at a time.

The bedroom is just one of the projects that will lead to more space and peace of mind. Peace of mind to make the bed in the morning, instead of having to put the bed away to have the couch again. Peace of mind so I can work out and Bret can work on music and neither of us feels encroached upon. Peace of mind to have space to write and look cute. Space to record podcasts and radio specials for Flake City, space to record audio books and short story narration, space to take head-shots and video auditions for our performance friends to have done without costing an arm and a leg.

This is the year I am really building, and I’m hella pumped for it.

So it’s now much later and I should go to bed, but I will pick this up tomorrow. Until then…

Monday Morning

Greetings and Salutations, my dearest blog readers! Today is Monday, and it is the last Monday of the year.

Nearly a year to the date, this is Abbi last year. No blog, just wishes and dreams and a grandfather who was still alive and telling her to write more. Grandma had just passed away and this was the best I could muster. But, that was then. This is now.

Tomorrow is New Years Eve, and I feel comfortable looking towards 2020 and sharing some of my goals and targets for the new year, as I have been hinting at for much of Blogmas.

As you may also recall, I do not believe in doing “resolutions”. No, instead, I like to look at what I have done, and what I want to do, make assessments based on my situation, and move forward with the new year with those goals in mind, and a plan of action to make those goals happen.

I start this process around my birthday, coming in late November, and by the time New Years Eve rolls around, I have normally already started enacting my plan of attack.

So, let’s look at some of my assessments, goals, and plan of attack.

The Blog:

My goal for this year was to start a blog, and add it to my life in a sustainable way that would lead to me actually maintaining and keeping the blog long term. Check!

My assessment is that blogging nearly every day or every single day, sometimes more than one, is great for my blog rates, my writing development, and my personal sense of accomplishment as a writer.

The blog not only keeps me accountable, but keeps me from feeling like what I am doing doesn’t matter and helps me build a place to one day publish some of the stories.

The blog has also helped me not only further develop my writing style, but grow my entire world. I have a place to put short stories, and the confidence to keep writing them because I can always publish them there.

The blog has helped me find an audience, and gain confidence in myself, while also demanding I write every day.

The assessment I make from my blog is that it is good for me, and that blogging every day probably is too.

My loading stats for the month.

I have practiced blogging every day, in the past, but now as I approach the end of December, having blogged every day, at least one blog a day (Although one, on the 12th, was after midnight, so it looks like I missed a day, but I DIDN’T!) and I have to say…Wow.

At first, I didn’t see a huge number raise, but over time, I was seeing at least one new blog follower a day, and a few more reads and likes a day, and over the past few days, I have gained more.

I have some ideas about what direction to take the blog in, other than the goals I already have, that I will be getting to. I was able to notice which readers will read regardless of when I post, and which posting times were best for me each day.

I have been posting in the early morning hours, scheduling a blog the night before for the post to go up by seven AM…But now I am learning that some days, the evening seems to do better for me. All of this is fascinating to me, to learn when people are most likely and most willing to read, but, as you all may know, I am not about tricking people into reading, I simply want to do everything I can to make it easier and possible for people to read.

The blog also affected my ideas about publishing, namely, I do not know if I want to publish my writing in a way that leads to people having to pay money for the writing, I want them to read.

But I also want to one day have money to write full time.

Sometimes the blog tells me problems I need to solve, rather than solve them, but overall, that is what makes me love the blog so much…it helps me figure crap out.

Moving forward with the blog, I want more original photo’s, as well as special cover art, something I started doing for Blogmas. The cover photos for Blogmas were made in large part thanks to free photos on Unsplash, but moving forward after Blogmas, I want to make cover images that either show you the number of Daily Blog we are on, or possibly a title. I would also like to continue posting nearly every day, like I did during Blogmas, until it becomes too much. I may just prewrite and schedule reviews for the days I won’t feel up to posting, because i really do enjoy the impact of posting every day.

In the new year, I plan on adding more video and audio files to the blog, which may add time to the blog process, or, may speed it up. Either way, more styles of content are coming to the website, as are more pictures to show the story of this blog.

Also in the new year will be some drops of Flake City writing, and also some merchandise from Flake City. I have lots of stuff that will likely be published/released in the new year. Very exiting.

My goals for the blog are by the end of the year to not only have Audio, Video, and original Photo content in addition to my daily blogs, but also some more creative writing, a merchandise store, and a tip jar for my blog, in case anyone wants to tip me for my work.

Writing:

I touched on this a bit in the above, but as this section is separate, I made it it’s own section. First, the assessments.

Wooohooo I won.

This year I did NaNoWriMo again, not forgetting to update my stats and not win, but I did have plenty of days where I didn’t log the word count for the day.

But I did complete it, actually blew my word count out of the water, hitting over 70,000 words in the month of November. In the last three months of the year, I have worked hard to write every single day either on the blog or creatively, many times both, and I have really been training myself into being a proper writer who writes decent stuff every day.

I have a great vision on what I am doing with my writing, and every day it gets better.

I have gotten good about writing every day, and over the course of this year I have written well over 400,000 trackable words on work in progresses and blogs alone.

My goals for this year, which I mentioned above, include more publishing and releasing of said writing, recording some podcasts and audio files of said writing, and some other surprise supplemental art I will be providing for my universe.

I will also be investing a little bit of money in some graphic design supplies and also assistance, as well as illustrations, be that made myself or made by others.

Other investments will likely include a camera, a new (desk top) computer, an iPad, and a few similar gadgets, as well as more sound recording equipment.

Since this is giving way to the next area, lets move on to-

Life/Home:

This past year I have made some improvements to my life and home, and I plan to continue that work in the new year.

First: The assessments. I realized that at the moment, it isn’t feasible to move from our apartment, at least until gentrification forces out, so, I have begun to make this apartment and area work for us.

Our apartment, which we likely out grew before we fully moved in, has been undergoing some changes to make it more friendly to our lifestyles, and it still has a long way to go.

In the past year, I was able to paint most of the walls, add some shelving, and get the living room and kitchen into a usable space. I want to add some contact paper to the counters, and some textured tiled contact paper to the wall behind the stove and behind the sink. In the bathroom, I also want to add some tiled texture contact paper in the small part above the sink below the mirror. Also in the bathroom, I want to find a “by the toilet” storage solution for extra rolls of toilet paper, a candle, etc etc, because right now we just use a wooden stool we had on hand. I would also like to add a litter tracker catcher, and some new rugs for the floor.

In the kitchen, we also need more storage, but that is an ongoing problem that I am hoping the new stuff at IKEA for this season will offer some solutions for us. Not everything has a solution or plan of attack, which is a big point to doing this particular blog…writing out everything I have done, and aim to do, and a plan for those things. This allows me to see where I still need to plan and make solutions.

Other household/life problems I am working on include…my desk/vanity issue. My desk doubles as a vanity and also as a catch all place for our living room. In the new year, I want to retire the old kitchen table I have been using, for an actual desk, and find a solution for the vanity that doubles as a desk. This will likely also be an IKEA hack, combined with some Pinteresting assistance.

It will also involve the wall by my desk, which I have been drawing up ideas for. The trick is me wanting to keep my map, but add more lighting and some mirrors, which will double as living room decor to make it look bigger in the very small apartment.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I spent a bunch of time working on the bedroom, getting ready to put in a new window AC unit, and then removing old stuff and putting in a proper bed.

My goal for the bedroom is to make half of it a bedroom, and the other half will continue to double as a photo studio and a crafting area.

I have been working and measuring, and while I have to buy some things and remove even more, it should all fit.

The bedroom being sorted should help my vanity and desk area, because more crafting supplies can go into the bedroom, and it will be cool enough to work in their when I have photos to take or crafts to make…not to mention it will be cool enough to sleep in there, so we don’t lose a ton of time every night setting up the bed in the living room, and then putting it up in the morning.

This very thing I am looking forward to most. Every night we have to pull out the couch, put the padding down, make the bed with the linens, all to get ready for bed…But, our apartment is so small, this is tricky to do with our coffee table, and the little extra wing of the table that is doubling as my desk and vanity, up, giving me the space I need to house everything on that table.

Then, in the morning, the bed is still out, I need access to my desk and vanity, and the bed is in the way and all I want to do is sit on the couch, NOT BED, and sip coffee.

It adds time, and also frustration. It makes me annoyed with Bret if he opts to walk the dog while I put the bed together or put it up, even though I have no reason to be annoyed at him for “not helping”. I am not annoyed at him for not helping put the bed together, I am annoyed at the situation of having to put away our bed every morning, instead of making it, and having to pull it out every night.

And that kind of thinking is also getting left in this year. In 2020, it’s all about finding sustainable solutions. The first major purchases of the year will be an AC, bed frame, and mattress, for the bedroom. THEN and only then, will I be willing to move forward with the rest of the list.

What else is on the list? Well, another thing that annoys me on a nearly daily basis, is the laundry.

We live in an apartment complex, with a shared laundry room.

Three machines for the entire complex, and people aren’t as clean as they could be when using a public machine. The machines are also frequented by an insane neighbor who I have blogged out, who is a loud, yelling person, even when just being nice, she always yells. She is also totally insane, and I like to stay away from her, and her apartment is NEXT TO the laundry room, which makes her think she is the queen of our laundry room and the arbiter of the room and machines. Annoying to say the least.

More annoying still is that Bret has very few chores around the apartment, less still that he does, and laundry is one of them…Which means once a week, he takes one, sometimes two, loads of laundry downstairs to the machine. It means our linens are NEVER washed as often as they need to be, and I frequently am annoyed at Bret on a Sunday because I need to take a shower and I don’t have a clean towel, or clean clothing, for after the shower.

And I am done with being annoyed and frustrated. I take things into my own hands and fix it. Doing laundry in the laundry room is something that can be done…but I have also found a small machine that allows you to wash and dry small loads of clothing without hook ups, in a shitty apartment like ours, and, I may be able to position it in such a way, with shelves around it, in maybe the bathroom, to solve the bathroom storage issue as well.

And make it look like some intentional laundry area in the bathroom, which makes total sense. If not the bathroom, I have a backup spot in the kitchen, with a similar idea, so either way it will feel very European, but much more functional. This way I can wash clothing during the week, and linens will get washed often enough. I can use Bret’s one load a week for the large stuff that the small machine can’t do. If Bret blows off a week, like he tends to do (hello, he blew it off yesterday, for example) I am not stuck carrying everything we both need downstairs to the laundry room next to the yelling lady. I can carry a load of some towels, or of just our blanket, and that isn’t too bad.

After the laundry is sorted, if I haven’t already purchased the contact paper for the counters and back splash, I will do so now, and also add a throw carpet and some more lights in the living room, and a front of sink pad for comfort, if possible, for the kitchen.

Along the way, I also want to buy new linens for the bedroom and new bed, and also some throw pillows for the couch, to really up the hygge vibes in our place. I may also start keeping a couple of throw blankets on hand, either artistically thrown over the couch, or in a small basket that the cats will inevitably sleep on. During the holidays, it was brought to my attention that sometimes it gets very cold in the apartment, and people don’t always bring a jacket with them, or keep a robe on hand like I do, so I want to keep a blanket on hand. I was mortified when I realized that keeping the apartment chilly enough to account for company and cooking, left my friends feeling like frozen blocks of ice.

Overall, I think all of these little things, as well as the large things, will make the place overall better and, I hope, make me happier. These changes should also make keeping the apartment clean, a bit easier as well, and keep it clean. Being able to have our linens ON the bed, versus waiting to go on the bed all day, will free up more daily space, as well, and the bedroom being sorted frees up more storage options to keep things from being too cluttered, which in turn helps it get cleaned and dusted easier, and more frequently.

Personal:

So, now, it is time to come to the personal life assessments!

This past year I have focused on myself and a few other people, keeping my circle incredibly small. I worked on quitting smoking, drinking more water, eating healthier, eating less meat, and working out.

I need to do better at all of them, but I can say I am VERY happy with the progress I made this year, more so considering how low on the list I normally place my health.

I plan to drink more water every day, even if that means carrying some aqua flasks on me or something. I also want to get better at not smoking. I have reduced, and I no longer even consider myself a smoker, as I can easily go without…but when work is stressful or when Bret is an asshole, I do still reach for the ole ciggys. Also, sometimes, to enjoy a cigarette, because, well…I like to smoke.

But I need to get better about that, and my goal is to smoke more hemp based blunts and wax in my vaporizer.

I also want to be eating at home more, to help pay for my many investments this year, and also just to help me stack up the savings, and that means finding affordable, healthy meals that are easy to make and easy to clean up, to not cost me too much valuable time.

Me, today, while I type and post this, whilst eating my delicious salad.

I have been researching sheet pan baking recipes for dinner, and I am also working on stocking our fridge with more items for salads, as they are healthy, easy, and not too hard to clean up. I think I may start prepping some stuff ahead of time, like the onions, and then I can focus on shredding cheese and chopping tomatoes and cucumbers, the day before or day of using them.

I hope this helps save time, and also help me to eat a bit healthier and feel great.

Speaking of health…yup, it is time for the work out portion of this blog.

This past year I bought myself a stationary bike, which actually got me to start doing cardio and working out. If you have known me a while, this alone is probably shocking. I have also worked on adding high intensity (but short) work outs to my routine, to try and help my overall fitness.

I keep struggling with doing it every day, but in the new year, my goal is to work out as often as possible, even if it is just thirty minutes a day.

I have to get better at saying “My health is a priority, and I need to take thirty minutes for it” while ALSO cooking at eating at home, keeping a clean home, a maintained blog with new content, and, with any luck, also sleeping six or so hours a night.

I don’t know how often I will work out, some days it just doesn’t happen, but I am committing to riding my bike as many days out of the week as possible, while also drinking water every day and eating healthy, or at least, eating at home. (Because let’s be real, it is likely I will make pasta plenty of times too).

I also want to simplify my wardrobe a bit, likely by wearing my own merchandise, but I am hoping to get a bit more efficient. I also want to style my hair more, and continue to act, dress, and exist as if every day is day one of my “come up” to success, because, as I have blogged before…It is.

And 2020 looks to be a great year for me, and many around us, so, I hope everyone does the same, and treats every day as day one of their come up to success.

I plan on leaving frustrations and annoyances in 2019, all the ones I can leave, I will be leaving, and the ones I can’t leave, I will be working to improve or working to leave the situation in the dust.

So that is where much of my new year plans are, with a few more things I am keeping close to my heart for now, but just know this: Abbi Grasso plans on having a great year, where her writing, her health, and her mental sanity, and yes, her friendships, come before the stupid shit (zombies) that has gotten her down.

This is the year I aim to leave much of my past, the stuff I am always trying to overcome, I am leaving it behind. I know that trauma has scars and you can’t really leave it, but all the bad habits I have fallen into, the unhealthy ways of thinking, the methods of coping, I leave all that crap behind.

I leave double guessing myself behind. I leave “but I have always been this way” in the past and focus on what I have always wanted to be, not what I have always been. I focus on success, on art, and, on being happy. I know that happiness isn’t always easy, isn’t always attainable, but I know enough about my life and myself after 32 years on this planet, to know how I can keep the stuff I do control, positive.

I feel like I am slowly waking up, slowly coming back to who I am, and who I am trying to be, and I am more sure of myself and my actions. I don’t know what has happened, but over the past week, I have been really shedding some of the layers of crap that have been trying to define me, and I have shed the layers that make me more myself. I see where I am going and how I will get there with a greater clarity than before. Where previously I lied to myself and assured myself that everything I was doing was fine, and all my methods of coping were fine, but the truth is…

They weren’t, and I wasn’t.

I mourn the fact that I wasn’t my best self in the past, and that my past self had to ensure so much of the bad stuff in the past, but, moving forward, I will be.

I will be working that much harder on being myself, being true to who I am, and being happy with that.

Because frankly, with how much I have on my plate this year, I really don’t have time to be doubting or hating on myself.

Also, I am pretty sure hating yourself makes you gain weight, or look puffy…something bad.

So, this has turned into a pretty hefty blog, and I want to get back to the proper schedule before the end of the month and the actual end of Blogmas, so I think I am going to go ahead and wrap this blog up here, and start working on the next one, so I can have all thirty-one entries up and ready before end of day tomorrow.

Blogmas has been fun, but every day with the blog is.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Blogmas Day 30 (Which is what day it is even though this is Blogmas day 29, if you have been following along you know we have have been suffering from some pretty bad blog limbo/blog lag.

Thank you so much for reading, please, don’t hold yourself to impossible resolutions, assess where you are and make sustainable changes to help your goals come to fruition.

Happy Blogmas, and Happy last fresh start Monday of the year.

Thanks for reading!

❤️

Abbi

Daily Blog #120: Blogmas Day Twenty-Eight- Sunday glow up

Sunday Afternoon

Today is Sunday and I just looked in the mirror and realized I needed to get ready for the week to come with a classic Sunday glow up- and then I realized I could blog about my Sunday process as another one of my Sunday prep type blogs, but also with some personal and self care thrown in for good measure.

So, on a Sunday, I like to get ready for the work week to come and for anything else coming before the following Sunday. This week that includes New Year’s Eve, a day off of work for New Year’s Day, and probably friends stopping by for one or both of these reasons.

It is also a work week, at least four full days of work plus our usual writing. We will need our space reasonably clean and I would like to be ready for the week with anything I will need for the week.

My goals are to clean up the bathroom, and touch up the kitchen- as I cleaned it yesterday. I’ve cleaned the living room recently as well so I will only need to touch it up a bit. My desk needs more attention than anything else in the living room.

We also have a ton of stuff to take to donation, which will clear out more space in the bedroom. If you recall, my goal is to get that room turned into a bedroom again.

Back to tasks for today. I wanted to take this stuff to donation and go to Kroger for grocery shopping- something I wanted to do yesterday.

But I don’t think it will happen today either so I’ll try and to this Sunday glow up!

In addition to the bathroom cleaning and touching up the living room and kitchen, I need to do my hair- straighten it, so it’s easier to style in the morning. I also need to do a face mask or two, and pluck my eyebrows.

I also should make dinner with what we have left in the kitchen, and figure out what we can have in the coming days.

I’ll be asking someone at work if they can take me to Kroger, I think, maybe someone can. I need to grab a few things for salad, juice, toilet paper, and some more coffee and creamer for the office.

A small list I can fill quickly, if I can get there but it’s a bit too far to walk.

Anyways- back to the glow up. Interspersed with the cleaning and masking and hair, I need to do a lemon water cleanse and rehydrate my body because I’m all puffy from eating like shit and not drinking enough water so today I’m trying to fix it and this week I’ll work hard at staying properly hydrated. It’s all about doing a nice reset and the lemon water cleanse will work well for flushing out some of the crap and also resetting myself for proper hydration.

So, to tackle this list I am going to go toss on some comfy but productive clothing like my joggers and a shirt and change out of my robe and pjs. I’ll update the blog with any fun add ons I make for this Sunday glow up and hopefully it inspires you to take some time for yourself today to really be ready for the week to come.

Later

Well, I got derailed a bit in my Sunday Prep Glow Up- but that is part of life, and I am here to tell you all about it while I get back on track.

So, I went to start with the bathroom, the deep clean it needs including the litter box, when Bret decided he wanted a shower, so while he did that, I decided I could do the light cleaning in the living room and kitchen.

Then, while cleaning, I was refilling the essential oil diffuser and I realized I had toner and an essential oil roller ball that I use for a daily aroma therapy perfume type thing. I went to the mailbox only to find the lock had been fully removed from our box, and our mail box was wide open, with any mail we may have had, including my hemp cell toner and lavender essential oil roller, were gone.

A major bummer, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that we have a lot of elderly people in this apartment complex, and many have their medicines sent to them in the mail, so at least whoever jimmied open our stuff and stolen my toner and perfume, only took those items, and not someones life saving medicines.

But, I have been out of the oil for a long while, and I am rapidly running out of toner, having searched for a while to find this one that I loved, and I really can’t afford to replace these items right now…so I made myself some more coffee, after I tidied up the living room and straightening my hair.

Now I am going to take a dab, finish my coffee, and get to work on the rest of my list.

Later again

Well I have much more of my list done and Bret is actually feeling like going to the store so I got dressed and he’s gone to grab the van and make a quick stop at the gas station. I’m working on cleaning in the bedroom- attacking my closet so I can toss or donate anything we don’t need and use that space for storing other things we do want to keep but don’t need on hand all the time. My closet became a dumping ground for stuff when we moved and I’m going to clean it out and repurpose it’s storage to better serve our needs.

Later again again

Alright I’m back from the grocery shopping, and I was able to fill the list for under the budget, and quickly, so I’m back home, where I can work on the closet project some more, to get closer to done before I wrap it up and go to bed. I need to post this blog, and then probably work on the next one, but I also want to actually finish this blog, which means finishing the glow up. I think I may quickly finish that stuff up, and then get into the closet project, after posting this blog, and then I can start the next blog, for tomorrow, after. Mind you, it’s after 7:00 at night and that’s a lot to get done.

So, the goal is to do a face mask and eyebrows, and then post this blog. Then I need to work on the closet- and I don’t like the idea of getting all clean and taking care of my skin just to get it covered in dust or whatever.

So I think instead I’ll wrap up this blog with to-do steps for finishing a Sunday glow up, and then finish my Sunday evening, blogging while I do it, and schedule that blog about what I do, while I mask later on, after doing some more cleaning on the bedroom.

With all that being said, my next steps for the glow up are to exfoliate, continue drinking water, do my eyebrows, do a face mask, pack some snacks for tomorrow, including salad for tomorrow.

That last part is more about the long term week prep, and less about the glow up for today. It’s also about setting myself up for success for the first half of the week. Thankfully this week we have a day off in the middle, where I can fully prep some more food for the rest of the week and the weekend, and then start the whole thing over next week, in the first week of our new year.

Things will be tight with that paycheck, but I am hoping careful budgeting and grocery shopping will keep us afloat.

It’s all about stacking coins in 2020.

But that’s what I plan on discussing in a blog later this week, in the coming day’s before the new year.

And that concludes this little glow up for Sunday, I need to post this and get started on the next to not be too behind for the week, so I am going to post this, finish my to do list, work on the next blog, and hit the hay.

Happy Blogmas!

Thanks for reading!

Abbi

Blogmas Day Twenty-Seven: TonyMoly Daily Aloe sheet face mask

It has been a pretty chill weekend thus far, on Saturday evening. I think I will be diving into some Flake City writing, but first I thought I would put another review up! So…Next up!

Reviewing a mask that has CRAZY bang for its buck! Also, NOT SPONSORED, as you will read, bought it myself and no one asked me to say anything nice.

And I was able to buy it because it is affordable. Ten masks a pouch!

Ten masks in one packet makes daily masking attainable – and this is a great mask for dry skin people who love daily masking like myself!

So a while back there was a TonyMoly bundle on Ipsy, and it was loaded with hydrating face masks and also including a lotion, for a super affordable price that made the masks less than a dollar per mask, so I bought it. Also, the price on their site is similar, so, affordable as hell!

These masks came in a super cute packet and offers TEN masks, meant for daily use, so I have been trying them out.

These masks use aloe as their main “boosting” factor for hydration, and if I were someone who ever allowed their bare skin to be exposed to the sun, this mask would feel great on burnt skin.

As for me, I use them in the evening when I can see my skin really wants and needs some moisture.

I keep a lot of cleaning, deep cleaning, and sometimes very drying, masks and I like to mask every day, and those two ideas tend to lead to my already dry skin having major issues, and wrinkles are my biggest enemy so my dry skin makes that worse.

Thus, despite my preference for “paint on” masks over sheet masks, I was happy to get more hydrating sheet masks into my routine. I do suspect these masks are more “budget” style, and the shape of the mask is insane, not even consistently the same kind of weirdly mishappen, each mask has its own unique “doesn’t fit any human face” problem.

But despite the weird cuts making it impossible to get the masks go on cute and smooth like proper beauty bloggers like, at least the hydration gets delivered to the skin.

The other main reason I like sheet masks is I can put my glasses on over the mask, and be able to walk around and do stuff, or, as it more likely works out, I can work on either my creative or blog writing. Once I position the weirdly shaped masks, I use my glasses to hold it on, and my glasses don’t wipe off any mixture, thanks to it being a sheet mask.

Anyways, these masks seem to be a budget friendly option for daily masking, and they are a very decent quality, delivering lovely hydration to the skin.

The convenience of the masks coming ten to a pack and not being too expensive, and also delivering the hydration I need in a daily way, gives this mask a highly coveted usefulness, which is always something I consider when reviewing a mask. This mask, overall, earns a very solid nine out of ten, four out of five stars, when you consider the price, convince, and quality, of this mask.

Overall, with the price for the pack being under ten bucks from the company themselves, I would highly suggest everyone try them out. These are affordable, and, to make things better, they have great quality and give you great hydration for skin that is dry and needs help…but is also light enough for oily skin, and helpful for sensitive skin people. Added bonus, it has healing aloe in it, so your skin can recover from any environmental damage you may be experiencing.

Remember, our day to day lives can really beat the crap out of our skin, and our faces don’t get protection like the rest of our bodies…Love your skin, and show it some love by replenishing the things it needs…like the moisture barrier.

I hope you have enjoyed this review, and I hope you get a chance to try this mask out.

Thanks for reading!

❤️

Abbi

Daily Blog #121: Blogmas Day Twenty-Six- I look like a potato, but I like potatoes.

Friday Morning

Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers

Today is a chill Friday, we have a short work day, and I would like to get to the store today to pick up some produce and a few other things, for food for the weekend, mostly salad stuff, because I need to eat healthy for a few weeks and reset my body a bit.

I am feeling terribly sluggish all the time, and I am also heavier than I would like to be, but also, it isn’t so severe that I can’t still easily fix it, so I want to grab some yummy salad options and healthier snack options, and start eating those options when not eating all the delicious holiday type food.

I know I will be drinking a little, and probably eating a bunch of rich, fatty foods, but if I am making healthy choices surrounding the not healthy choices, I can help mitigate it, and if I keep eating that way for a few weeks, as well as working out some more, I can get back to my goal of lazy but semi healthy.

I think much of my problem is trying to work out every day, but I feel like doing mild cardio every day is super healthy, so I am trying to take an honest and hard look at when I will actually work out, and how to make me ACTUALLY change my ways and work out consistently, making a change to my life that yields long term sustainable lifestyles.

And as you all know, I have been trying to find ways to make dinner faster and easier, as well as healthier and cheaper, when it’s an option, so, prepping salad is pretty easy.

My thinking is I can chop things like onion ahead of time and store in a small container, and prewash my spinach and lettuce, as well as all the fruits and veggies. Soaking, cooking, and storing bean type proteins like my chick peas, ahead of time will also keep costs down, and make good use of prep. Hard boiling eggs will also add some protein to the salad, so all I will have to do is peel the egg, chop, and add to a salad.

So, I can do parts of the salad prep ahead of time, and maybe even make a pasta salad for a hearty side dish for lunches (where I need more food, middle of the day to give me the energy in the evening), and pack salads and snacks for lunch, have salad parts prepped for dinners, and then all I have to worry about is breakfast, which is normally some sort of bread or bagel with cream cheese and egg. I have been considering ways to healthy this up, but I don’t know if i will change much more than using a whole grain wheat bread.

All of this will probably lead to a recipe blog or two, as well as some blogs about being healthy and trying to change my lifestyle…

Y’all, my natural inclinations are to be lazy, and if you have been with this blog from the beginning, or even go back to the first one…I am always trying to fight being a lazy piece of shit.

I don’t want to put anyone in my family on blast, because I feel like in the past few years several of us have been trying to undo our lazier instincts, but like…We all kind of like to not have to do things.

My mom has been busting ass her whole life, so of course she likes to chill in her down time, but now she has a million projects she is always working on so rarely is she EVER being lazy, same as me, even when I am being lazy, I am probably knitting on something, or blogging, or brainstorming something, at the VERY least.

For me, it means basically never stopping. I need to come home from work, work out, do dinner, clean up from dinner, blog my ass off, write my ass off, squeeze in some of the “business” that goes into writing and blogging, and then, with any time left over, squeeze a skin care routine, quality time with my partner, and chill time for myself, into the mix.

I fail often in the attempts to succeed in this, and I am actively working on hacking my day to have more time in the day.

Anyways, enough about healthy eating…Let’s talk about healthy mindset, because earlier I said something that made me happy with how far I have come with loving myself.

“I look like a potato, but I love potatoes so I love myself.”

I don’t love how I look today. I have dehydrated, I am puffy, I weigh more than I like…things don’t fit right anymore…

But I also know that I will take care of the puffiness by doing a lemon water cleanse tomorrow, and I will probably shed the weight to have things fit better, within a week, and will drop more, in the weeks to come, because thankfully I never had kids and my metabolism hasn’t had the same slow down that women who have had kids deal with.

I don’t know if it is science, but I will say while things slow down at thirty, my things haven’t been as rough, and I put that on my awesome choice to not have children.

But I do look like a potato right now.

But potatoes are delicious. I know why I look like this and i know I will look better soon, and I will still love potatoes, and, I will still love myself.

It has been a long, hard road, but I can finally say with confidence that I really do actually love myself and maybe, just maybe, I actually like myself too.

I like who I am becoming, I like that I keep working to be a better person and push myself into uncomfortable things to grow as a person, and I am glad I have taken the time to do better, and be a better person.

The effort has been working out, I think, because I have been spending better time with quality people, and enjoying more of my own life.

My life is far from perfect, but I am slowly getting it to there. I do wish more of my friends weren’t only online, like Sam, in Canada, or Alex, in Colorado, but I am hoping to combine that with our desire to travel more, and go see some of our friends around the country and world.

Alex may also ( I hope) come to town when her boyfriend does. Bret and I will likely be seeing her boyfriend, because Teddy will be tattooing Bret, as one of his “presents not really” from me.

For people who didn’t celebrate the holidays, Bret really did make out well. I got him a keyboard and some control board thingie for his music software, I am paying for what will likely be a very expensive tattoo, some candy, some clothes, and goodness knows what else we ordered him.

I got some comfy pants from Target, as well as some socks, underwear, and a jogging bra I will be returning. Also the french press I bought myself that I am in love with, and some supplies at Ulta I have needed, like more eyeliner, some more lavender face spray, and I grabbed a sleeping mask and a headband, as an extra gift to myself.

I will also be upgrading my blog again, and possibly buying a few things for the new year, like some microphones or (as we all know I want a better camera) maybe some things to help my camera phone work better, so I can better film things for my friends like Sam who need acting reels, but also for myself with the publishing and releases I want to do this year.

But, brief tangent aside, I really hope Alex comes with Teddy. I would love for Alex and I to get to chill for a while, and Teddy and Bret can tattoo it the fuck up. Artists doing the art stuffs.

Because really, I want to focus on the good things, the art type things. Like the potato thing, I look like a potato, but I like potatoes. Focusing on the good stuff. Also making the potato better.

So, at the moment I am at work, and I have a giant stack of writing I need to get into, and much of my weekend will probably be spend in a fog of writing and working on stuff.

Full steam ahead to 2020, and the next awesome year in the life of trying to make your life even more awesome.

I am pretty pumped for it, because I know I have been taking aggressive strides in making my situation better, and before long I will see the pay off of all the hard work, and I am okay with doing the hard work needed to get there.

All potatoes are great…sometimes you just need to bake them a while. Or something equally motivating.

Happy “Blogmas is over when I say it’s over”

Thanks for reading!

Abbi

Daily Blog #120: Blogmas Day Twenty-Five- "…Wait is Blogmas REALLY over?", trying to not talk about things I plan on blogging about later, a heart full of friend love, and plans for the rest of the decade.

Thursday Evening

Well, it is the “final” day of Blogmas/Vlogmas, apparently, which is crazy to me, because like…I honestly thought more people would do it until the 31st. I myself hadn’t decided if I would do every day until the 31st or not, but it seemed like we should all at least try to make it the full month, I mean…you made it this far?

But then again it is nearly seven when I am STARTING todays blog, and, I’m not gonna lie, it has been hard as hell to make sure I have at least one post a day. I do have a review or two of some skin masks to post, one of which is already written, so I can, in theory, keep going…and I kind of want to, for the sake of completeness. I guess we will all see how long I go. I definitely consider how far I have made it to be a major victory. I am sure I can dig deep and find the extra energy to keep going every day, I like the idea of blogging nearly every day anyways, so, this is just training for that.

Besides, I am coasting on a recent victory. I recently hit 100 followers on WordPress for the blog. This means people who have a WordPress account, who follow me, and does not count the people who just type in the url abbigrasso.com or use the links in any of my bio’s on social media, or subscribe to my blog via email. I have over 100 followers inside the app proper.

My goal was to hit 100 by the end of the year, and I have succeeded in this goal sooner than I thought I would, and I am very happy. I would like to be well over 200 by this time next year, actually, I would like to be in the 500-1,000 range, but that feels greedy.

I do have some plans for the blog in the new year, however, including playing with my writing style for some of the Daily Blogs. Sometimes, my documentarian style of writing, which is very pointed in writing like Flake City, doesn’t translate on the blog, and I should (maybe) be more brief with some of the things I say on the blog.

This is one of the key things I was noticing with Blogmas is it seemed no one was holding themselves responsible for at least 500-1,000 words, if not more.

And sometimes, people kept it short and still conveyed all the information of a longer blog, and sometimes, with blogs and our face paced competitive content world, it is helpful to make good use of my readers time and keep it short, so they have time to read not only other blogs, but other styles of writing.

Anyways…I don’t want to do a big “things I learned from Blogmas” post just yet, because I am not sure if I will be doing it for 31 days or somewhere between 26-31 days, and it will be a post I do closer to the end.

But, the fact that I don’t have to always write long blog posts, was helpful.

I also learned that I do not like Daily Blog Posts that only really focus on one thing, because I like it to feel like a few things happened each day, not just the image of it, but for the sake of reading, it is much more interesting to read about several things, even if two of them are ideas or thoughts and one is something about what is actually happening that day.

Style, has been really been looked at, during this Blogmas, and it has me super fucking pumped for the New Year on the blog.

Not that I believe in some “resolution” or anything like that. I will be probably discussing this is another blog, closer to New Years Eve, but I really prefer to just look at my past year, consider the good and bad, and then apply the lessons moving forward, to meet the goals I have for myself in the future.

New Year is merely that, a new year.

Which also means it is just another year. But I also know I have been working on making each year better than the last, for a long time, and that has been helpful, and 2020 is no exception, so as the final week in this decade winds down, I will be really thinking about the lessons I have gleaned from the past year, and be considering how I want to move forward for an even better year than I had this past year.

As you may recall from my birthday, I have high hopes for 2020, this new year, my 32nd year on this planet, and I I think it truly may be the best year yet.

Because I have been working my ass off at it for a while, and have been putting things into motion every day.

It isn’t easy being a writer, but I am doing the goddamn thing.

Behind the scenes stuff like (but not limited to) taking pictures, but also considering what will make for a good cover photo, editing it with the title, for things like Blogmas, etc.

I am also learning more about the ins and outs about making a life as a writer, and all the boring behind the scenes stuff that goes into it, not just the boring universe building stuff that feels like running a marathon while being attacked by evil writing demons but looks like me crying in front of a computer while flinching from invisible attacks from evil writing demons.

No, I am learning about ordering endless samples to make sure the merchandise that will ultimately represent you, is the quality you want.

I am learning that quality matters, even if it costs more.

I am learning that investing in yourself is the best damn investment, big or small. Thankfully, with investing in yourself, even small investments have a big pay out.

I haven’t done the next upgrade on the blog, but I have purchased two levels on it, unlocking more and more features, and each of them have been great and highly helpful.

I am about to also pay for some logo generation or paid apps that allow me to do it myself, as well as some more merchandise samples, after I modify the collection based on my lessons from my last investment, a batch of my merchandise.

Because quality matters.

I have other investing in myself purchases I plan to make, but that is planned for another blog as well, because, as you can tell, I have a lot to blog about, but, I want to also talk about what I am thinking right now.

My heart is full. This has been a hard Christmas, the first one without both of my grandparents. My mom found it hard to, the first one without either of her parents, but we got through it. She had my sister, dad, and her friends, to help her, and I had my mom, via phone, Bret, Amber, Damon, and of course, Lenyn, and Sam.

Samantha, Lenyn, and myself. Sam and I are containing our impending sadness.

Lenyn is leaving soon, of course, which is devastating. Honestly that is bumming me out so much, but I am also happy he is getting to go chase his dreams…I just wish he weren’t leaving so soon.

Lenyn will be off in NYC soon, and I know Sam and myself are both very sad about it, and I think we will end up throwing a small going away party for him, in which I will blog about it and how sad I am that he has left.

But, for the holidays, I had Lenyn, Sam, Amber, Damon, and Bret, all of which made the day special, and have made my past year wonderfully beautiful. I want all of them to be involved in the year that is coming, and even though Lenyn will be in NYC, I am hoping that maybe he will be brought back for a job, or something, or we find a way to work together digitally, because we have so much happening in the coming year, and I have always imagined Lenyn being there for it.

But it was a lovely holiday, we all smoked and ate, and, as predicted, the friends did stay later than intended, they also came later than planned, which led to Bret and I having our special dinner around midnight, but that didn’t stop it from being delicious.

We had a wonderful meal, and enjoyed some quality time together, and today we slept in, munched on leftovers, and did our own thing. Tomorrow we have to go back to work, but it’s a half day that starts at ten, and the day ends at two. I may stay later, but either way, it looks to be chill.

Then we have two days off for the weekend, then we have Monday and Tuesday, for work, full days, then, off on Wednesday, New Years Day…which frankly has always made more sense to me…why had the eve off, when you need the day after off to recover from staying up late, and likely drinking.

Bret and I aren’t huge drinkers but we love champagne and will probably share a bottle or two and smoke, maybe hang out with friends if anyone comes over, but mostly enjoy a quiet evening in, maybe watch the ball drop and fireworks around the world on the TV, but, all in all, I don’t see either of us deciding we want to get all active and out there on New Years Eve…Everyone is always stupid on NYE, and I am not interested in dealing with people acting stupid.

Sometimes not letting the zombies get you down means getting supplies, barricading the safe room, and avoiding contact with the zombies.

So, the plans will likely involve some tasty food and some champagne, I will finalize plans after a trip or two to Kroger.

It’s all about eating in and not ordering take out, moving forward, as I have mentioned, so I want to really end the year cooking to set the tone for the new year, so, our New Years Eve plans will involve smoking, eating, and drinking a little champagne, while maybe getting more pictures with my friends, because it is also my goal to get more active in taking pictures all the time, with or without a nice camera.

With that, I think I will wrap the blog up here. I need to do some dishes, take a shower, and do some laundry still, and I also am feeling very lazy so…all of that will take coaxing on my part, not to mention editing and formatting this blog, and posting it, with pictures.

So, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I hope you are all enjoying an even better Boxing Day. Tomorrow, some of us go back to work, me, for a few hours. Some of us never stopped working. Either way, tomorrow we are ever closer to ending the decade, so lets all really think about how we have been doing in the past year, and yes, decade, and consider how we want to move forward in the new year. Once we know what we are doing, we will know how to best guarantee getting it in the future.

Until then, Happy Blogmas, and Thanks for reading!

❤️

Abbi

Daily Blog #119: Blogmas Day Twenty-Four- Shopping, ideal holiday plans we are living, and sustainable changes that are life goals.

Tuesday Late Morning

Greetings and Salutations my wonderful blog readers

Today is the day before Christmas, it is Christmas eve, Hanukkah day two (But tonight is night three, you know?) I think thats right.

I am not raised Jewish, so I don’t know the nuances as well as those raised around it. The Jewish religion was simply the one that made the absolute most sense, to me, and also had bits that matched up with my more “Pagan/Witchy” ways as well.

Plus they believe in Lilith, which is important to me.

Anyways, It is a lovely day, slightly chilled but crazy strong on the sun which sucks ass. I am waiting around for the people I work with to show up and get their paychecks, then I will head home.

Bret is at the outlet malls, and I plan on going home and cleaning our dab rig, so we can dab some awesome crumble concentrate later.

Also on the agenda is Bret going to Guitar Center to see if they have a floor model keyboard we can afford for him, as frequent blog readers will know, I want to buy Bret a new keyboard for the holidays etc. I will be hitting up Target, possibly with Lenyn, to grab some comfy cozy things like maybe a new rob or PJs, and maybe some skin products or something.

I also need to go to Kroger and get the produce I didn’t get yesterday. We want to have snack trays and maybe a nice steak, potatoes, asparagus kind of meal.

We ALSO want to hit up Half Price Books and grab some books so…We may or may not get everything done today, but we also aren’t forcing ourselves to have any unreal expectations. We are buying things we both want and could use, and if we don’t make it to Half Price today, we will Thursday or whatever. We are off on the day after Christmas, or Boxing Day, which is awesome because Boxing Day is such a great, chill vibe.

We are back to work on Friday, short half day that I may stay for a bit longer for, and then we get an awesome weekend!

I have been reading everyone’s Blogmas Day 24 posts, and I want to post this one this evening when everyone is getting comfy, so I am trying to edit as I write so I can just hit submit when I am done…So apologies if I have more typos and under cased I’s than usual.

It is nearly noon, which is when our gates are going to close, so I am going to go downstairs and make sure everyone got their checks, and then probably head home to make some ramen for lunch before diving back into our plans for the day, because I am freaking STARVING.

So, until later!

Later

It’s later!

I shopped my ass off. Nothing extravagant, just some things I could really use, in line with what we told ourselves we would do for the holiday season. I got some new sleep pants that are softer and lighter, as well as some underwear and socks, and a jogging bra. Thankfully, I didn’t take too long at Target, and got to Ulta, because 30 minutes into my Ulta trip, Ulta closed three hours earlier than advertised on the internet.

Thankfully, I had already grabbed the things on my list I wanted plus a thing I found and wanted, so I jetted out of there, but I felt terribly bad…but it was all in all a good thing because I would have spent more money, and as it was I sent forty under what was budgeted.

Bret ended up finding a better keyboard and other music making production piece he needed, for the price point we wanted, and ordered it, so he was saved a trip to guitar center, and his trip to the outlet mall led to online shopping in the Adidas app.

After the Ulta excitement of them closing early, and Bret spending some time lounging with his new found not having to shop in person enjoyment, we went to Kroger and got stuff for our dinner tomorrow, for just the two of us, which will be steak, garlic and herb roasted potatoes and some asparagus.

We will be having company in the afternoon, I believe Amber and Damon, with Lenyn and Sam likely to also show up, plus whoever else, and I do worry that people will overstay their welcome and we won’t get to eat dinner until later, if not the next day, but most people work the next day and we don’t, so I am staying positive.

Besides, we love these people, and spending time with them is wonderful. I have invited some other people but I don’t know if they will come or not, and it seems unlikely.

For our guests, we will be serving snacks and appetizers, chips and dip, veggie tray with grapes and berries, and a nice summer sausage and cheese tray with crackers and a cheeseball or two that I will whip up tomorrow morning while I clean the apartment for company. I will also be blogging a “how to get your place ready for company in X amount of time” blog as well, for the holiday season, because our holiday plans are probably great for anyone celebrating New Years, and that content should prove to be valuable for you all.

But, as for right now, it is late in the evening, and I want to spend some time writing and relaxing, but first, I wanted to finish this blog.

I am looking forward to having company tomorrow, and am excited to munch on food all day and get some writing done in between hanging out with friends.

The day after, we will likely spend writing and eating leftovers, and the day after that is a half day at work, so we will spend some time writing then as well. Our friends Tina and Kaynell are probably going to come over on Friday, so we will be hosting them, probably with some sort of tasty food and enjoyable smoke.

Thats all either of us really ever want with our time off. Time to write, eat good food, smoke, and maybe enjoy time with people we love.

Bret and I want to get married in the Christmas season next year, but as the wedding plans evolve, they get simpler, but all either of us want is an enjoyable happy meal with friends, in a weed legal place, having a really good time. That’s all either of us ever want, weed, food, good people, good times, and of course, time to write.

So that is how we are spending our time off. I am also making it my goal to get back into the swing of my working out, my cardio has fallen to the way side, and I need to get back at it again.

I also need to eat healthier, but its the holidays and it’s hard enough as is, but, I have been working on healthier recipes for Bret and I, like the spaghetti squash cheesy broccoli I made for us, and in the new year, I am resting more recipes that are quick, easy, and healthy.

We won’t need many, and the faster we can get into a rotation the faster we can speed up the eating process for us, and also keep the cost down.

We are both going to be needing extra money for publishing and producing costs, so every penny I can save with things like us actually eating at home, is helpful, more so with us wanting to travel more next year and both still having full time jobs that pay our full time bills.

I feel like while I have always been against eating the same thing every night, in 2020, I will be going minimal in some ways.

But also, I will still have several recipes so I can rotate the rotation, and not drive myself too crazy.

But basic things we both really like, with seasonings or dressings that we both like. For example, broccoli, carrots, peppers, maybe even some green beans, with a teriyaki sesame dressing, baked, for easy clean up.

Also more fruits for snacks and more salads for dinner and lunch when not eating leftovers, which shouldn’t be too hard, as I get better at knowing what kind of salads I will always eat, I can stock those foods, pack em in a large bowl with the dressing in a smaller container, and then toss it on and enjoy when lunch comes.

All this to help save money and also eat healthier, and I have to work my cardio in, and do my high intensity work out in the morning, the small (and awful) little 5 minute one I’ve been doing would be fine.

I am 32, and I understand that comes with the obligation to actually treat my body well. No, I am not some influencer or celebrity who works out every day or five time a week with a trainer, and even if I were, I doubt I would do that.

It just isn’t my style.

But living a long time is, and there is overwhelming evidence that supports that working out lengthens your life.

So, not in a resolution way, but in a, “get back to this” way, I am committing to working out more often, in the morning the high intensity, in the evening, the cardio, and also eating at home more, and eating healthier.

I say all of this while munching on (too many) honey bbq chips.

‘Tis the season, and these fuckers are delicious.

I will absolutely be eating like trash, probably intermixed with eating healthy, to try and find balance, for example, I bought cabbage, so I can add more vegges and make ramen I like more often, and of course add a cheap food into my rotation, so, while I am chowing down on a bag of chips right now…I also have some slightly healthier options for some meals.

And plans for improving my diet long term, too.

So, there is some healthiness updates, for anyone wondering where I was, personally, as we stare ahead to next week and the looming “resolutions” hell that is New Years Eve.

Please remember, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy, killing yourself with some crazy new routine. You can make small healthy changes that add up, like last year I started smoking less and less at the start of the new year, and while I do occasionally smoke, I do not consider myself a smoker, and the smokes I have are me indulging, not needing.

And it will last longer, because I worked myself through it. Some people need to do things all at once, but not everyone does, in fact, many don’t. Be kind to yourself, and make small healthy changes you can sustain for the long haul, and then keep making them, to have a better life in the long term.

With that, I think I will bid you all a good night, and get this scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Good morning. Happy Blogmas day 24! Let’s go enjoy Blogmas day 25!

Thanks for reading

Abbi

Daily Blog #118: Blogmas Day Twenty Three – productive writing, shopping, and a lesson about the holidays everyone should know.

Saturday Night

Greetings and Salutations, dearest Blog Readers!

I figured I would start this Daily Blog to get it started, but I have no idea when it will get posted. I have spent much of the day getting caught up on my blog writing, skin care product reviews, December Ipsy Bag Review, and the Christmas Carol review.

I also spent some time getting the apartment back into some semblance of shape, finally getting the last of the stuff from the fridge, did the surfaces, some light dusting, swept, litter box, wet mop, tons of dishes etc etc etc…

Basically, I got to work around the apartment taking care of stuff that needed to be done. My goal had been to go to work and gets some stuff done there but this morning when I woke up I realized our home life needed more attention than work did, so I got to work around the house while Bret went into work, and when he came home we both got to work writing. Not to mention I can always go in later in the week to do stuff.

Now he is winding down on some projects and we are expecting company this evening, so he is going to play some video games while I jump on and update the blog and jot down some notes for my writing in Flake City which is about to get joined together, as in, a few different stories are all getting mixed together now, within the city, and the characters start to get connected.

Monday Late Morning

Greetings and Salutations again, dearest blog readers, it is late in the morning on Monday, and I am at my desk working on this, and a few other tasks as well.

I am fighting the feeling of being “bummed out” today, and it is trying to inch into depression. I haven’t had any cannabis today, so it is likely that the lack of ingestion of THC is also having its way with my mental stability, but also some people in my life who are bringing me down.

One of my biggest goals is finding a way for those kinds of things to not bother me and make my heart hurt as much, but as we all know, I am a bit of a soft person and I am way too emphatic.

SO MOVING ON FROM BEING SAD.

Today is Monday, and we have a half day today, but everyone came in early, so goodness knows if they will leave on time or not.

I am sticking around to try and do a transfer of our mobile store POS licenses to our headquarters, so everyone has enough licenses to ring people up at this location.

That is of course assuming Quickbooks Support has one of the GOOD techs available for today, instead of the shitty ones, which this close to holiday time, there could very well be only the “b” team available, in which case, I will gladly hold off and wait for a better person to assist us…Because as much as I love Quickbooks Intuit, their support people can differ greatly, and for this particular job, we need the good people who know the ins and outs of the programs.

So, I am also waiting for a call to confirm said support, and therefore can’t really leave my desk, and I am SOOOO damn hungry. I may make some coffee to hold me over, plus, hey, I get coffee.

In some good news, however, we got a little bit of money ahead of Payday tomorrow, so some of the shopping we need to do, we can hopefully attack today, and then the nasty shopping (Walmart) will be out of the way before Christmas Eve, when the shopping gets really bad.

Tomorrow, Bret and I plan to hit up the outlet mall for him, (maybe me) and also guitar center for Bret.

For myself, I have a few things I may grab up at Target or Walmart.

At the moment, I am working on our shopping list, groceries, things we need around the house, and not per se “Presents” but things we want to give to each other that happen to occur during all of the winter holidays.

Most of our “activities” for the holiday are going to revolve around eating tasty food and enjoying time with our friends, and namely, which each other.

Basically: Our plan is to eat some great food, smoke some good weed, see some great friends, and, of course, write our asses off, because it wouldn’t be time off without us trying to get a months worth of writing done in a couple of days free from work.

Which, if we are being honest, Bret and I have turned ourselves into such content monsters that we could work full time at creating the content, but we aren’t quite in a place to just stay home creating content and writing all day, just yet.

Now it is after closed office hours, and I am waiting for the phone call from Quickbooks/Intuit that at this point I do not think will be coming in, so, I will likely just leave in a few minutes, go grab a sammich, and then go get some shopping done.

Finally! Holiday shopping!

So, I think I am going to go and get that done, and update this blog later!

Later

Greetings again, it is now Monday Evening! 9:29 PM, at this moment. I thought it would be good to finish up this daily blog and then dive into some creative writing while bret works on a new track.

Shopping was fun, namely because we aren’t doing “presents” in so much that we are just using a little bit of the money we have set aside for things we could both use or really want. For example, while shopping, I bought myself…a French press. I am so freaking excited to use this in the morning. It is also something that as fairly cheap (maybe a nicer one later in the year or so and this one can become the at work one) that I will use for a good long time, and at a frequency that allows me to make the purchase worth the money.

I also grabbed up some things we needed, like food for the animals, some SPF, some toiletries like toothpaste, some groceries like drinks, chips, some stuff I need for my ramen, etc etc, and some of the stuff for the next few days of snacking.

While I did the shopping, Bret hit up the smoke shop and then hung out at McDonalds, and then we came home and have been relaxing ever since. My plans for tonight are to do some dishes, and get a bunch of writing done, but it is already approaching ten, so if I have any plans on getting up early tomorrow, I need to be in bed at a reasonable time. Thankfully, I am not going to be at work for very long, I am going in so I can wait for the checks to arrive for our non direct deposit people, and I will let them all know via text and stay to make sure the gate is open so the new people can get in and get their paycheck.

Because getting paid is awesome, and I am sure everyone would like some money before one of the biggest holidays of the year.

So, I am going in, around ten, to wait for our checks, and when they arrive, I will let my coworkers know, by texting all of them, and letting them into the gate when they arrive.

With that, I don’t want to be up all night, and I want to do some writing, and I would love to play some video games too but I can wait on that if needed, to guarantee I get some writing done.

All of this to say that I need to get my ass in gear and get this blog scheduled, and then get to writing. It is already nearly 10:30, due to my being pulled in every which direction right now, so, I am going to end this here and schedule this little lady for tomorrow.

I know there should be some big Blogmas thing, but frankly, I did a bunch of holiday type shopping today and that left me kind of wiped, but alas, that IS the holiday spirit, isn’t it?

This blog goes up tomorrow morning, which is Christmas Eve, and I really want to post a blog tomorrow evening as well as Christmas Day, all about the days and how we spend them, but we are not doing a traditional Christmas celebration, as I’ve mentioned, so…we shall see what that leads to on the blog.

I think it will be pretty special regardless.

Because like everyday, and doubly so on Holidays, they are only the sum of what you make them.

Which is the big Blogmas type lesson for today. All of these holidays are just the sum of what we make them. Don’t let stupid mentally obligations get you down, the obligation to buy presents is just another damn zombie in a world full of zombies. People can quibble about the “meaning” of a holiday, but the truth of the matter is many people celebrate many things around now, and while some of those people have presents exchanged, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Yule…None of them make the present exchange the main thing. The main thing is the spirit of the holiday, being all happy and cozy and well fed with your loved ones..In the BIG general picture, it means a great many things…Don’t let the zombies of present expectations get you down.

If you aren’t around family, thats okay. Enjoy some time with yourself or with friends or with some family member that invites you over. If you have to work every day or even one day of the holiday you celebrate, take solace in the fact that you have a job, and know that I am also working on days I would rather be celebrating, but we all have our part to play, or…whatever. My point is I know the holidays can be hard for some people, due to family, work, money, whatever…But keep in mind that we ourselves can also make the choice to enjoy the time we have. If you family sucks and is hella toxic, order take out because yes, some places are still open, and read a good book, or maybe brave the grocery store and make your own very special meal, for your time alone. Time alone can be great, it is all in how you yourself look at it, and no societal standard can take that away from you.

If no one has invited you into their homes, take a respective look at why, or, why it matters, but realize that ultimately, regardless of work you may have to do on yourself, you are special and worthy. If you need to make changes we make resolutions and commit to change next week. If the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future come to visit you, feel free to make those changes sooner.

(and reach out to a damn hotline if you get suicidal, please. I don’t care how much you don’t think we need you, you abosultly matter and we need you out here.)

Just know that these holidays are simply the sum of whatever we make them. We don’t need to worry about buying enough presents for everyone, or a fancy enough roast for the meal…We need to make sure we are happy and healthy in the New Year. Buy some useful stuff if you want presents, but don’t feel some stupid obligation to have a giant tree decked out with presents. Anyone you may worry about buying a present for needs so much other than the present you are killing yourself with guilt over, namely, they have you in their life. You are enough, and only you control your winter holiday, because it is only the sum of what you make it. Make it awesome…on your terms.

Happy Blogmas Day 23!

Thanks for reading!

I love you all.

❤️

Abbi

Blogmas Day Twenty-Two: December Ipsy bag review

I got a great bag worth reviewing but it’s important to note I also maximized the add ons to really make the best possible bag, and I suggest everyone who is able to do so!

First and foremost, please note that my bag has a few extra items than the usual bag, as I take FULL advantage of the Ipsy add-on program, normally adding nearly an entire additional Ipsy bag’s worth of products…and this one is no exception.

First, let’s discuss the items I got in my bag, that I did NOT pay extra for and did NOT add on.

BUT FIRST let’s put up the “This shit ain’t sponsored” disclaimer.

I am a blogger, and not a wildly famous one. While I wouldn’t say no to a sponsorship or collaboration with IPSY, this blog isn’t.

Also, why would they? I have paid for my next years worth of Ipsy bags in advance, to lock in a cheaper price.

Items Ipsy picked out and sent me this month.

So why would they bother sponsoring me, when they already got my money, and all the free content I provide from this blog? Exactly. They wouldn’t.

I paid for this bag, and all my add-ons, and there was no sponsorship.

But I would totally love to collab with Ipsy but…I don’t think that will ever happen as Bloggers don’t get cool deals like that often, and when they do its because they are much more famous and successful than me.

So, onto the Ipsy bag that is totally not sponsored.

I will be doing the items I got in my bag that were selected by Ipsy, first, and then, for the second half of this blog, I will cover the items that I picked out for myself and paid addition money for.

So the first item listed for my Ipsy bag is a eyeshadow from Phase Zero Make Up Satin Eyeshadow in Banana Beige.

Initially I was worried that the eyeshadow was too golden/yellow for my complexion. Some golds don’t look so cute on me.

Thankfully, when I tried it on and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked- and also how well it went on.

I would say 4 out of five stars for sure.

A good little eyeshadow that I have now used several times, by itself and with other natural browns and natural shade eyeshadows, it can work well on its own and also “plays well with others” as a great eyeshadow. Feels smoothy and creamy too, which is always nice for comfort as well as ease of blending.

Next up was the Little Moon Essentials peppermint Schtick lip balm.

So, full disclosure, I really LOVE the lip balm I’ve been using- I keep one at my desk and one at home, and it contains hemp. I have included it on my favorite hemp products blog.

But this new lip balm was really great, and exactly what I needed for the cold winter months…or as we have in Texas, cold but also hot and highly erratic weather.

As anyone who has spent a few days in Texas, namely Houston, you know that in the winter, our weather will bounce between 90 degrees and 20, with little discrimination, and sometimes little warning. We get horribe humidity and dry cutting winds.

The winds hit us in all directions, and our skin becomes a special kind of dried out, after living with months of humidity.

This lip balm rises to the occasion.

Next up is the Tarte Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer in Park Ave. Princess.

This bronzer looked beautiful in the container but I wasn’t sure how it would look on me and while it’s a little hard to see, it isn’t too dark, which is nice.

All too often, the bronzer is some horrible orange tone, or some terribly nasty sick looking color that simultaneously screams not natural and cheap, no matter the quality of the bronzer. I don’t know if this is just me or not but…Man I have looked bad with some of the more pigmented bronzers so the light, and more importantly, natural color of this bronzer was a welcomed change.

Overall, a lovely bronzer.

Next is a surprise new favorite I really can’t afford to like this much: Skin Regimen Night Detox, which is an overnight mask meant to reduce fine lines, signs of aging, discoloration, etc.

I’ve used this a few times and I have wished so much that I could justify such a purchase but it is sadly outside of my budget, but it’s really nice to get to try it! Maybe I’ll get to snag it on a sale, however, as Ipsy usually has great deals.

Why do I want to buy it? Because holy crap this mask is amazing. It feels sensational, like smearing a super high quality lotion on your face, and it feels gentle and natural, and smells like flowers. It smells like chamomile and lavender to me, which is all I ever want in any night time product.

On top of the amazing smell and texture, this overnight mask works wonders, leaving your skin looking and feeling gorgeous, with more youthfulness to it. The reviews and marketing around this stuff says that 100% of the people who used it in a 28 day cycle every day had positive results, which makes me think I will likely try to buy it soon…the bit that I have tried has left me wanting more, so I may just treat myself soon. If I so, I will try the 28 day challenge, and roll back the clock on my skin.

My final item in the Ipsy bag, of things that came in my bag from Ipsy, is the Porefessional primer from Benefit, which is a favorite of mine that I always want to buy and never let myself get, so I was very happy to get some! This stuff is so velvety and feels so great on the skin, and on top of that, it makes your pores so tiny! It also happens to really lock makeup in place, hydrate the skin, and in my case, enable a more nude look, as it really smooths your skin out, in my opinion and I really do love this product!

Next up is my add on products that I paid extra money to have added to my bag. These items were purchased because I either liked the brand or liked the item, or, plain ole curiosity.

The cost of these items ranged from 3 dollars an add on to 12 dollars for the deluxe size, like the large cleanser you will see. I had tried some of these items before, like the face cream, or the eye mask.

Other items were picked because I had tried other scents in that line, like the Hemp lotion.

Other items were picked because I had tried other products in that line, which was the case with the cleanser. I have tried the GlamGlow Foaming Mud cleanser, and have long since sworn by it.

This first item is something I have had before and really love having in my rotation of skin care products and that is the Hey Honey “Look into my eyes” Retinol eye mask.

The size alone allows you to really get a good bang for your buck- Ipsy add ons in this case are 3 or 12 dollars/ this one was 3- and it’s a huge container for something used around the eyes, and it has a GREAT impact on the eyes too!

This awesome stuff really does work well, reducing lines and dark coloration well and also reducing puffiness from a long day.

For an added bonus, it doesn’t burn as much as other night creams and eye masks do, when you accidentally get it in your eye.

Next on the add ons I purchased is the Glam Glow Tropical Cleanse daily exfoliating cleanser.

This item has quickly become a new favorite of both Bret and myself. I’ve used GlamGlow products before and while this isn’t my favorite of their cleansers, this is easily my number two from that brand now.

This cleanser, has a deep clean, and a fantastic exfoliation that leave your skin feeling fantastically soft while still being deeply cleansed, and, to make matters better, is left feeling hydrated, not stripped of all it’s oils and goodness, like some deep cleaning exfoliating cleansers can do.

This stuff also smells great, which is important, I think, when discussing skin care products, and the beautiful purple color of it looks and smells like something tropical, as the name suggests.

Next is the Belief “The True Cream” – moisturizing bomb, which I have had the pleasure of using before. Both bret and myself enjoyed it, so for 3 bucks, I grabbed it up as a restock.

This stuff is amazing, as it has a delightfully deep moisture that really sinks into your pores and hdyrates from ithin, without clogging your pores and making your skin feel all gross and waxy.

On top of this, the formula is a light and airy white mixture that goes on easy, which makes a nighttime routine that much faster. This cream also “plays well” with oils and serums, making it a faithful and reliable face cream.

Last but not least is a new scent of a lotion I have tried before, this is the Herbal Body moisturizer in tropical pineapple and honey melon from Hempz, and I love it, as I loved the first scent I tried.

This lotion sinks in, hydrates skin, and smells great. It is a solid moisturizer, and if I ever get to go shopping for myself and buy some large bottles and actually take care of my skin, I will be investing in a. full size bottle of one of the scents from this brand, as the product is top notch and works beautifully well, giving you a lasting moisture without any greasy, nasty feeling left on your skin. This is a great lotion, and if even has some helping properties of cannabis, without any THC, so slather it on, its great stuff.

Overall my bag really made me happy this month; partially from my add ons and partially from their good picks.

I may start reviewing my bags from now on- let me know if you like it by DMing me on social media (@abbigrasso) or by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for reading!